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We’re in a summer series in the Book of Acts from the Bible. As Ray pointed out last week - Acts is about how the church took the message of the Kingdom further and further. Seeing what it looks like, both corporately and individually, as it intersected with the world *around it. Luke's purposes for the book is seen in Acts 1:1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach. Acts tells us how the story of Jesus continued, after His death and resurrection, through the Holy Spirit in the midst of the newly formed church. Wright: liv[ing] as though Jesus really was King now. Today we see instructions in Acts 5:20 (ESV) “Go…speak to the people all the words of this Life.
Pray for understanding and delivery
3. I. What is this Life?
3a. A. A Life of Holiness
1. Holiness sounds so high and out of reach. Just for a few truly “Holy” people with *special gifting and devotion. 3b.1 Peter 1:16 (NLT2) For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” This conveys God’s heart for His People as sacred. We are sacred to the Lord. Truly valued, of high regard, because as Peter says we have been ransomed(v.18) by Jesus.
3c. 2. Acts 5:9 (ESV) Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door…”
3. Admittedly this is a curious story, especially when we consider that Peter understood the *Grace of God. 3d.1 Peter 1:10 (ESV) Concerning this salvation, the prophets prophesied about the grace that was to be yours… How does this story fit into Grace, forgiveness, the faithfulness of God? It is a call to radical separateness in the way we see ourselves in “this life” we live by the Grace of God. Saints In all honesty, we can’t do holiness. If we could Jesus would not have had to die. If we could, that would be a works-oriented salvation. It is an understanding that we have been called to live differently knowing we are dependent completely on the Grace of God, honest to Him, and not seeing ourselves as our own saviors, as if our good deeds saves us or are *special in some way like Ananias and Sapphira. 3e.Ephesians 1:4-5 (ESV) he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ… Holiness, generated by relationship!
4. B. A Life of Expectation
1. Expectation is an interesting word because as I have pointed out many times, in the Bible *it is closely related to the word Hope. 4a.Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. It’s hope that is confident of what will come.
4b. 2. Acts 5:16 (ESV) The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
3. Why would the people gather from all over to bring the sick and demonized? Because
The Book of Acts
This morning I want us to look at something that was hinted at last week and which we have spoken about as the work we are called to as members of God’s own family, but now I want us to recognize, and dial-up, how we are experiencing restoration as ones in God’s Kingdom. *So this morning I want to talk about how. "Now is the time for restoration". This statement is both prophetic, in a future sense, and at the same time a confirmation of what is already happening in the lives of those who have put their trust in Jesus. And to help us understand what that means we’ll look at a prophetic voice from the Bible.
This morning we are finishing a series we call, walking with the Spirit. We’ve already spoken about our being equipped and empowered by God through His Spirit as people of Faith in Jesus. Now we want to move into what some of you are familiar, and that is, being gifted by the Holy Spirit for what God is doing around and about His people wherever they *find themselves. Acts 9:31 (ESV) So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. This verse can describe not only the early days of the church in Palestine but also here. We are equally ones who have been called-out from the rest in the world, into faith in Jesus, equipped and empowered by His Spirit, existing in the local setting (Judea, Galilee, or Samaria, Dutchess County). We live in relative peace, though maybe not as harmoniously as they did. They were in process, being built up, which is always the case; walking out the precepts and calling of the Lord, as the Holy Spirit came alongside them, to comfort, encourage, implore, equip, empower and gift them. And as a result…they multiplied.
Continuing the series on Walking with the Spirit
This morning I have one thing on my mind as we begin a new series we call, 1a.*walking with the Spirit, and that is the word equipping, or the concept of being 1b.equipped, *by God through His Spirit, for what He is doing through we His people. 1c.Acts 9:31 (ESV) So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. A wonderful jump-off scripture maybe not as obvious in its meaning; that “the church” Jesus’ body here on earth, called-out from all the rest in the world, as it exists in the local setting (Judea, Galilee, or Samaria, Dutchess County), had peace (the absence of trouble on the one hand for a time, engaging the Shalom of God as a harmonious, joy-filled group, flourishing as His People. They were in process, being built up, from the ground up (footings, foundation, supporting walls, etc.). Walking, moving forward as ones in awe of the Lord, as the Holy Spirit came alongside (parakaleo) them, to comfort, encourage, implore, and equip…and as a result they multiplied.
2.  Read: Exodus 13:17-22 (ESV)
Pray for understanding and delivery
3. I. How are we equipped?
3a. A. He equips us as we need when we need
1. Each of us comes up against things in our attempts to move forward, and as believers to *follow what we feel is God’s direction for us. Paul described it in: 3b.2 Timothy 4:7 (ESV) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. This race we run is more a walking out our faith each step of the way. Olympic race
3c. 2. Exodus 13:18 (ESV) God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.
3. I always find it fascinating that God led His people not in a nice straight line as we, and I’m sure
In choosing our Sunday topics after Easter we undertook a series we called “Why” or “The Why Series”. It was meant to help those who are outside of faith, who may have some questions about the existence of God and the exclusive claims of Christianity, either to help answer those questions or at least help in pointing them to resources to find good responses. It was also meant to help people of faith who may not know how to respond to those who are questioning them about their beliefs. Hopefully supplying some information, and at the same time, pointing them to resources to help in further research. Both Tim and Ray did a wonderful job in doing those very things. This morning I want to sum-up to some degree by talking about why we should care? Why care about the existence of God and the claims of Jesus? What does it matter and how might it reflect on how we engage life in relationship with others?
Why Believe in Christianity? In order to start laying a foundation for Christianity, let's hear the words of Jesus himself on the topic.
During this series, we will be addressing the big points of why there is a God and what it means to have a God in this wide universe. The big questions of faith, and what it really is. God has revealed Himself through creation. As we look around at the universe we see the earth at large. It is important to remember the creator behind the creation. We keep in mind the inventor and not just the invention. As people, if we focus too much on the creation, we forget the invisible qualties that have been known since the beginning of time. There are so many different theories that try to explain why the earth came about from Pantheism to Natualism. We sometimes fall prey to the belief it's science vs. faith. As God is the creator, he also created science. Which means, if faith in Him exists then we have to only assume science was part of the creation considering science was created by God. Since creation had a creator, there was also an origin. There was a point before the creation of the universe. The universe has been proved to be expanding, proving there was an origin. If we reversed time, we would see the universe coming back together. This would bring it back to the origin of creation. Naturalism may believe the biological complexity of the universe evolved by chance. Modern science has shown this is a statistical improbaility. Any shift in the universe would have made it impossible for life to exist. The odds are 1 in 10 to the 124th power. Incredible stuff! Stay tuned for the next step of the series as we dive into Why Christianity?
A very, very good morning to you all! It is a good morning because we are celebrating the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus and what that means to each one of us: to the universe, creation itself, and all of humanity. To say it is a “good” morning has a very specific connotation today, more than any other day, because that word “good” in the scriptures can mean beautiful. It’s a beautiful morning, no matter the weather outside or anything else. So this *morning we are celebrating. Something Beautiful! In the sacrifice of Jesus, at his death, He took upon Himself all our sin, all our brokenness, and all our history. Not only that, but also our futures as well. Something beautiful has happened, and contrary to news reports, it is happening and will happen. All because of the reality of Jesus rising from the dead. Some of you who are here are looking for something new, something more fulfilling, something real! It is found in Jesus and the meaning of His life, death, and resurrection. Which explains the meaning of all life.